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(5.36) Are school districts responsible for providing nonacademic services?

(5.36) Are school districts responsible for providing nonacademic services?

Yes.  Districts are required to pay for any supportive service which is “educationally necessary” or necessary for a student to “benefit from” special education.  [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56363(a); 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.34(a).] Examples include parent training or counseling, recreation, complicated health services, etc.  Because these services may be more costly or are not commonly provided, districts may resist offering them.  Lack of funds or the availability of a needed service cannot be used to deny services.  [34 C.F.R. Secs. 300.17(a) and 300.39(a).]  You should be prepared to use a report from an independent expert to support your child’s need for related services.  [For information on obtaining independent assessments at public expense, see Chapter 2, Information on Evaluations/Assessments.]